LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Melissa Anderson

Position: Guidance Counselor
School: Rimersburg Elementary School
School District: Union School District
City, State: Rimersburg, PA

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Melissa Anderson was nominated by her principal, Thomas Minick.

Mrs. Anderson has redefined the role of teacher/counselor at Rimersburg Elementary School by her actions, words, and thoughts. She has demonstraged this by creating programs and working with community members to enrich the students and their families. In each program that she is involved in, she has demonstrated her leadership qualities and ability to prioritize her students' needs before her own. 

Instead of seeing challenges and obstacles in her students and their families, she embraces them, learns from them, and works relentlessly to change the outcome. Mrs. Anderson exceeds the expectations of families during the holiday season, ensuring that over 100 students have warm clothing, food and presents on Christmas morning. During the course of a school year, she maintains the same commitment to ensuring students are dressed appropriately for the season, well nourished, behaving socially and academically.  

Mrs. Anderson is the leader of the RES student council program, which brings events and enthusiasm to the school. She started a Trailblazers Running Club that meets after school two days a week. This program encourages exercise and the importance of being part of a team. She has also started a Lunch Buddies program, a Kindness Crusader Program, and even goes into the classroom once a week for a lesson. Mrs. Anderson is the 504 coordinator and PSSA testing administrator, and is responsible for ensuring students receive the help they need. All of these programs and actions have a significant impact on her students' emotional well-being and mental health.  

As a counselor, she deals with intense family problems, but always finds a solution. These situations come at a moment's notice and often with no warning signs. She has the dignity and respect of families to pause her agenda and listen to them. 

"She is one of the most supportive colleagues that I have come across in my 20 years in education," Minick said. "Therefore, she deserves recognition for her dedication to her profession, students and the families of Union School District."

Comments (6)

Mandi McKinney Posted over a year ago

Mrs Anderson is an amazing counselor, teacher, and person! She goes out of her way to help all of her students find a solution to their problems when they come to her. She has also started many programs that help the kids district wide. She definitely deserves this award

Julie Hartley Posted over a year ago

Melissa Anderson not only blesses the Rimersburg Area with her compassion and expertise, she has been a vital force on the Clarion Area School Board for the past several years. Challenges come in many forms to school districts, and it has been a privilege to work with Mrs Anderson to find resolution to those issues as well as see her consistently advocate for the students best interest when hard decisions must be made. Knowing Mrs Anderson, being nominated as Lifechanger of the Year is a humbling experience. I believe it is important for the community to know that her commitment to making positive change in children’s lives goes beyond the district of her employment, (fully recognizing that her accomplishments go far beyond her “job description”.) and reach well into her personal life with countless hours spent volunteering for an often thankless job because she is determined to be the difference in our children’s lives!

Sandra Potter Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Melissa Anderson is nothing short of AMAZING! She is knowledgeable and professional while also being warm and caring with students and their families. She actively engages parents and caregivers in creating solutions when difficulties arise for students. Her PATHS program encourages students to develop strong skills that enable them to overcome obstacles and develop strategies that promote success in all areas of life. Mrs. Anderson is dedicated to her students, as evidenced by her going above and beyond expectations. Our family feels privileged and fortunate to have Mrs. Anderson on our team. She is responsive to questions and concerns, and is consistently positive in meeting the varied needs of her students. Without question, Melissa Anderson is the embodiment of the words Guidance Counselor!

karen l guntrum Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Anderson is a wonderful person. She takes care of everyone at RES. She does everything sh can to help with Homework Helpers. We really appreciate her help. Thank you so much.

Joe Rainey Posted over a year ago

I agree she is by any and all standards what I would ever want my kids and all other students to have as a role model , teacher , counsler. Good luck and you definitely have my vote

Connie Greenawalt Posted over a year ago

I was cafeteria manager at Sligo Elementary and she was always there for me and answered all my questions and helped in situations I wasn't sure how to handle. Cafeteria staff isn't always trained in certain areas and thank God for Missy!!! Her favorite saying was "It is what it is". She is an amazing person. Union is fortunate to have her!!!!